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Susan Rudd and Wendy Yang Light Up Lagunitas PCQ
January 28, 2015
The 2015 Lagunitas Open saw some of the best weather ever combined with some of the biggest and deepest draws in tournament history. The women's competition started on Friday, January 23rd, with 12 teams vying for the trophy in the Championship flight and 12 more teams competing for bragging rights in the Ladies’ Flight. It was a packed day of paddle from 8:00 AM until the lights had to be turned off at 8:30 PM due to a town ordinance, but no one complained because the weather was gorgeous and the competition was fierce. On the top half of the Championship draw, second seeds Tori Eichleay and Jessica Watts came up against the veteran Chicago duo of Linda Lanphier and Sara Williams in the semifinals. Lanphier/Williams came out firing on all cylinders to win the first set, but Eichleay and Watts came roaring back in the second set. The third set came down to an exciting tie-breaker, with Eichleay and Watts ultimately earning a spot in the finals.
(L to R) PCQ Finalists Tori Eichleay and Jessica Watts; Champions Wendy Yang and Susan Rudd
On the bottom half of the draw, the local team of Chizzie Brown and Val Herzog put up a valiant effort against Susan Rudd (Minnesota) and Wendy Yang (Massachusetts) in the semifinals, but the seeds held and Rudd and Yang earned their spot in the deciding match.
The finals began under the lights around 6:30 PM as a crowd of over 50+ gathered to watch great paddle, kick the kegs, and eat a hearty chili dinner prepared by the chili cook-off participants. Rudd and Yang took Eichleay and Watts by surprise in the first, winning it 6-2. However, the local team got off to a fiery start in the second, claiming an early 4-1 lead. Rudd and Yang managed to put the brakes on the fast-paced blitzing of Eichleay and Watts, and the second set ended with Rudd and Yang winning in a tie-breaker and thereby winning the championship.
(L to R) Ladies' Finalists Kathryn Freeman and Betsy McDermott; Champions Elleke Haggerty and Stephanie Foster
In the backdraws, the match for 3rd and 4th place between Lanphier/Williams and Brown/Herzog had to be called due to darkness and a requirement that lights be turned off no later than 8:30 PM. In the Consolation bracket, Eileen Sheldon and newcomer Kyle Montgomery found their stride and defeated Sara Lardner and Kate Krehbiel to earn a 5th place finish. In the Consolation Reprieve, it was the tandem of Sally McGivern and Annie Winship who took the trophy by defeating Coloradans Maggie Hays and Cyn Rentz. In the Ladies’ Flight, an out-of-town team also emerged victorious. Stephanie Foster and Elleke Haggerty of Chicago charged through the draw by beating the local team of Kathryn Freeman and Betsy McDermott in the finals. In the backdraw, Cindy Noble and Amy Wynne defeated Betsy Jonckheer and Meghan Caldwell to take 3rd place, while veterans Patty Griffith and Janey Kuhl earned 5th place by defeating Lisa Kemp and Tucky Pogue to win the Consolation bracket. Sarah Puckett teamed with rookie Billie Buck to win the Consolation Reprieve.